SEVERNE S1 4.8M 2017 TEST REVIEW
The S1 is Severne’s manoeuvre-oriented four batten wave sail, produced in “premium panelled construction”. The design is a culmination of combining the brand’s S3 of 2016 (three batten wave) with the established four-batten layout of the S1. As such, the 2017 S1 comes supplied with an extra half batten, enabling you to switch between a three or four full-length batten setup according to conditions and preference. In addition, the clew of the S1 has been lowered, reducing the boom length for improved manoeuvrability. Taking a look at the S1 in more detail, it is clear that Severne continue to innovate in materials and design. For example, they’re using seamless panels in the head and foot of the sail, to reduce any chance of long-term failure in high-tension areas … and internally printed x-ply to ensure the longevity of the sail’s visual impact.
“The S-1 is a manoeuvre oriented wave sail for the modern wave sailor. Built in quality eM3 materials, SpiderFibre, and with a diamond shaped Dacron luff panel for smooth power delivery, this sail is engineered for performance.”
Rigged on a 400cm mast, the S1 has a wide tuning range, extended even more by use of the changeable batten setup. In light marginal winds, the sail can be set with a relatively tight leech, the two lower battens retaining rotation whilst the reduced luff curve and Dacron luff panel provide plenty of ease and breathability in the draft. With its high cut foot and low clew eyelet, it has a distinctly upright stance on the water, possessing lots of sail area above the boom. As such it initially feels quite big and useful in the hands, generating power at the slightest gasp of wind, the S1’s profile expanding and pulling the board and rider forwards. Once going the sail’s centre of effort is placed well forward in the draft, making the pressure in the backhand very light and easy. This is also helped by Severne’s use of EM3 scrim throughout the sail’s upper panels. It is certainly a unique feeling in this group and whilst taking a bit of getting used to, can be used to great effect in wave riding mode, the sail going super neutral when required and letting the rider really surf the wave through feel and connection with the board. The reduced batten option only extends this further, reducing weight and increasing the sail’s on-off nature. It adds even more softness and depth to the S1’s power delivery, so much so that you can realistically get away with a smaller sail option, using a 4.7m when you’d have opted for a 5.0m in the past. As the wind increases, the S1 can be re-tuned with more tension to open the leech more and flatten the profile, yet such is its low end prowess that the better option would be to change down sooner. In harsh violent wind conditions, the high forward centre of effort does become more demanding of rider input to control … but then, if these are your regular conditions, we would urge you to consider the S1’s lustrous stablemate, the Blade (tested last month in 5.3m).
Unique in feel and performance, the S1 provides smooth bottom end power with silky neutral handling, making it a dream option for those with a surfing style.
Other sails in this test: